Kes performing at Prestige. Photograph: Overtime Media

Reinvent and Redesign Soca Monarch, says Kes

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2011 Groovy Soca and 2020 Joint Power Soca Monarch, Kees Dieffenthaller says that the now cancelled Soca Monarch competition is a cultural staple, and should be redesigned to return.

Speaking backstage at St Mary’s College all-inclusive fete recently, Dieffenthaller shared his thoughts on the Soca Monarch controversy. He said, “I think that change is inevitable, and I feel like it’s an opportunity. Soca Monarch has become a cultural stalwart, and there’s an opportunity to redesign and reimagine it now, and bring back the aspect that brings the up-and-coming acts together with the veterans, elders and the people together in one place. I think it’s important, but that doesn’t mean it has to remain the same.”

The Fuh Spite singer also shared an idea to reschedule the Soca Monarch event in order to facilitate its rebirth and reestablish its importance within the Carnival calendar. He said, “I feel like the change of the date could be a good possible innovation. Imagine if the Soca Monarch happened the week before, so that the winner would have a full week of victory to reign and then have the road to parade before taking it outside the country. It’s an opportunity I think. I don’t think it should disappear. They should definitely come back again, and come back harder and smarter, and we need those points of contact where everyone is in the same place and the people can get that jam where everyone is doing their best song.”

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Ahead of their own ‘IzWe’ concert and village presentation on February 14 at the Brian Lara Stadium, Kes suggested that the Soca Monarch organisers learn from previous mistakes and adapt a new format for the once prestigious competition.

“We have to learn from the mistakes of the past, and Soca Monarch will have to address those issues in the redesign,” said Dieffenthaller. “We can’t come back doing the same thing, but let’s come back and really represent Soca on a global scale by staging the best example of how we want to showcase it and enjoy it ourselves.”

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